Friday, 17 October 2014

Several people asked to aid in probe into Hong Lim Park protest

Updated 22 Oct 2014: Permit for CPF protest event cancelled due to on-going investigations
NParks said it will not approve further applications for use of Speakers Corner made by people under investigation for the 27 September event, until their cases are concluded

In a joint statement on Tuesday evening to the local media, The National Parks Board (NParks) and the Singapore Police Force announced that the permit approval for blogger Han Hui Hui to speak and demonstrate at the Speakers Corner this Saturday, 25 October for the monthly CPF protest event has been cancelled.

NParks said that the cancellation of the permit was made on the advice of police. A letter from the Commissioner of Parks and Recreation has been since sent to Ms Han to notify her of the cancellation.

On 27 September, Ms Han had organised a similar protest, which clashed with a concurrent charity event by YMCA due to a double-booking of Hong Lim Park.

related:
AsiaOne: NParks cancels approvals for Han Hui Hui's Hong Lim Park event this Sat
Channel News Asia: Blogger Han Hui Hui's Speakers' Corner permit cancelled


Activists speak about their police interrogations

A police investigation is not something that most civil activists would look forward to. It is an annoyance and an intrusion. But given the State's liberal enforcement of our many illiberal laws, such a prospect can never be totally discounted.


In the wake of the police interrogation of Han Hui Hui, former lawyer and ISA detainee Teo Soh Lung had written a brief guide on what to do when one is summoned for police investigation.

Her views are further expanded here by other human rights advocates and filmmakers who had spent hours on the interrogatee's chair. Some were eventually prosecuted, others were not. Their experiences and advices offer snapshots on the extent of police powers in Singapore, and some methods by which activists can use to overcome their fear of isolation and prosecution.


Blogger Roy Ngerng summoned for police questioning about Sept 27 protest
Roy Ngerng waving the Singapore flag as he led protesters at Hong Lim Park on Sept 27, 2014. They marched through a charity carnival by YMCA, scaring the children with special needs, and adults performing on stage. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Blogger Roy Ngerng has been called up by the police for questioning regarding his participation in a Sept 27 protest at Hong Lim Park, which encroached on a charity carnival being held nearby.

Mr Ngerng, who led the protest along with fellow blogger Han Hui Hui, said in a Facebook update on Tuesday that he had been asked to turn up at the police station "to be investigated for illegal assembly".

Reports from online media sites said police had visited Mr Ngerng at home at 9pm on Monday night and gave him a letter summoning him to an interview at the police complex in Cantonment Road at 2.30pm on Tuesday.


Blogger Roy Ngerng, refuting reports he has fled S'pore, says he is in Malaysia for a conference
Roy Ngerng (centre) and Han Hui Hui (right) speaking at the Return Our CPF rally at Hong Lim Park on Sept 27, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: LIM SIN THAI

Blogger Roy Ngerng, who is understood to be among those the police want to interview about the Hong Lim Park fracas last month, has posted on his Facebook page that he is in Malaysia attending a conference.

Media reports had said the police had not been able to contact him for an investigation on the Sept 27 protest session that disrupted a YMCA charity carnival held in the same park but at different lawns.

He was reported to be out of the country.

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Police returns notebook to organiser of Hong Lim Park protest
Ms Han Hui Hui (with loudspeaker) with supporters at the Return Our CPF rally, marching round the park on Sep 27, 2014

THE police returned to blogger Han Hui Hui her notebook on Thursday and said they were acting within their powers in retaining it as part of an investigation.

The notebook was taken from Ms Han, 22, last Friday when she was questioned on a Sept 27 protest session in Hong Lim Park that disrupted a YMCA charity carnival. Both events were held at the same venue but in different areas of the park.

Responding to a query from The Straits Times, a police spokesman said on Thursday that under section 35(1)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the police had a right to seize any item "suspected to constitute evidence of an offence".

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Police 'have the right to hold notebook'
Police yesterday returned to blogger Han Hui Hui her notebook and said they were acting within their powers in retaining it as part of an investigation

The notebook was taken from Ms Han, 22, last Friday when she was questioned over a Sept 27 protest in Hong Lim Park that disrupted a YMCA charity carnival.

Both events were held at the same venue but in different areas of the park.

Responding to a query from The Straits Times, a police spokesman said that under Section 35(1)(c) of the Criminal Procedure Code, the police had a right to seize any item "suspected to constitute evidence of an offence".


Polite S’pore police returns notebook to CPF protest co-leader Han Hui Hui without a struggle

The Singapore Police has politely agreed to return a notebook they seized from protest co-leader Han Hui Hui on Oct. 10, 2014, during investigations into an offence of unlawful assembly at Hong Lim Park for the fourth “Return Our CPF” protest on Sept. 27.

The office of Han’s lawyer, M Ravi, said:
“Police have confirmed in their letter addressed to us today [16 Oct] that they are releasing Han Hui Hui’s notebook and personally delivering the notebook to our office at 3 pm today.”
Ravi had written to the police two days after Han was interviewed to demand the return of the notebook. Han’s notebook contained a written record of the questions and her answers during the interview with Senior Investigation Officer, Inspector Wong Yu Wei, at the Central Police Division, which lasted seven hours.


Police to return activist’s note book after lawyer’s demands
The Singapore Police has agreed to return the note book it had seized from Han Hui Hui during an interview on 10 October

Ms Han was being interviewed as part of the police’s investigation into “an offence of unlawful assembly” on 27 September at Hong Lim Park during the fourth “Return Our CPF” protest which Ms Han had organised.

She was later reported to have been at the police interview for more than seven hours, and emerged from the police station at about 10pm that night.

Confirming the return of Ms Han’s note book, the office of her lawyer, M Ravi, said, “Police have confirmed in their letter addressed to us today [16 Oct] that they are releasing Han Hui Hui’s notebook and personally delivering the notebook to our office at 3 pm today.”


Police question blogger Han Hui Hui over Hong Lim Park protest that disrupted charity carnival
Ms Han Hui Hui (with loudspeaker) with supporters at the Return Our CPF rally, marching round the park on Sep 27, 2014

Local blogger Han Hui Hui was questioned by police for seven hours on Friday over a protest she organised at Hong Lim Park that disrupted a charity carnival last month, the police confirmed on Saturday.

But they denied online reports that officers turned up at her house at midnight the night before, or that she was not allowed to eat during her interview.

In a statement on Saturday night, a police spokesman said Ms Han is among "several persons" involved in the incident who are currently assisting them in investigations. The probe has been ongoing since a police report was lodged on Sep 27, the day the protest was held.

related: Statement from the Singapore Police Force

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Police question eight people over CPF protest march at Hong Lim Park
Police have questioned eight people over the protest, including Han Hui Hui. Investigations are ongoing, and no one has been arrested

In the days leading up to Saturday afternoon, Han alleged on her Facebook page that the YMCA had repeatedly delayed the starting time of its event from 10am to 4pm so that the arrival of guest-of-honour Minister of State Teo Ser Luck would coincide with the start of her protest march.

Han also claimed that grassroots organisations were involved, saying that some on Friday tried to convince her not to hold her planned protest or to postpone it.

Responding to her allegations, the YMCA said in a post on their Facebook page that their event, YMCA Proms @ the Park, is an annual one that started in 2007, and that they do not represent any grassroots organisation. They added that they did not make changes to their plans.


Hong Lim protest leader questioned by police

The police were responding to media queries after online reports surfaced that Ms Han had been visited at her home by police officers at midnight on Thursday.

The reports quoted Ms Han as saying she had arrived at the police station at 2pm and was made to wait for half an hour before being questioned until 10pm. They added that she was not given any food and was prevented from leaving for dinner.

In addition, a notebook she was using to take notes was taken away, and she was not allowed to call her lawyer M. Ravi, the reports added.

related: Police question several people over Hong Lim Park protest that disrupted charity carnival


Blogger among several asked to aid in probe into CPF protest

The police confirmed yesterday that “several people have been asked to assist in police investigations” in relation to the Return Our CPF protest held at Hong Lim Park on Sept 27.

Blogger Han Hui Hui, who led the rally that day, is among those called up by the police, TODAY understands.

Ugly scenes broke out that day, when protesters encroached on an area in the park where a YMCA carnival was also being held.

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Hong Lim Affair – What is the truth?

Han Hui Hui has told her story of the midnight visit by the Police to serve her the notice to assist in an investigation on the Hong Lim Protest. In her article that was circulating in the social media she mentioned that the interview was from 2pm to 10pm though it started at 2.30pm. During the interview she was not given any food or refreshment. Her note book was seized by the Police and they even attempted to take her handphone away

In the Sunday Times today, the Police replied that they had tried to contact her many times by phone. When this failed, they went to her home at 9.30pm to serve the notice to appear at the Police station. They also said that it was Hui Hui who asked for the interview timing to be changed but later she turned up at 2.30pm. The interview lasted until 9.30pm. During the interview the Police provided her with refreshments and she took several breaks except for dinner. No dinner?

The Police are conducting the investigation as someone had made a police report. The Police did not disclose the identity of the person making the report or the nature of the complaint. It must be important, whether the person reporting/complainant or the nature of the offence. If not, how could the Police justify spending so many resources, manpower and time to investigate this incident? And they took 7 solid hours to interview Han Hui Hui alone. The matter must be real serious.



How long should the duration of police interviews be?
The police letter to people who were asked to assist in their investigation

During the discussion of the 7 hours police interview marathon of Ms Han Hui Hui, someone asked a very important question. If not 7 hours, then how long should the police interview be?

My answer is “Not more than one hour.”

I say this because an investigation into a case of unlawful assembly (Ms Han was said to be investigated for this offence) is not a complicated case.

related:

read more


Police deny visiting Han Hui Hui at midnight

22-year old blogger Han Hui Hui was questioned by police for seven hours on Friday in its investigations over a possible offence of unlawful assembly during the CPF protest event which Ms Han had organised on 27th September 2014.

During the protest at Hong Lim Park on 27 September, Ms Han led a march of over a hundred supporters. The march involved going into the area where another event which was being held by the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA).

According to news reports, a police spokesman said Ms Han is among “several persons” who are currently assisting them in its investigations. The probe has been ongoing since a police report was lodged on the same day the protest was held. Ms Han claims that she was asked more than 300 questions by the police during their interview over the seven hours she was kept at the Cantonment Police Complex.

related: Police investigates protest participants for “unlawful assembly”


Han Hui Hui’s 8-hour ordeal at Police Cantonment Complex

Not only was the main organiser of @ReturnOur CPF protest denied food, her personal belongings were also (unreasonably) seized by the police, said Han Hui Hui of her 8-hour long ordeal at the Police Cantonment Complex (PCC).

The investigating officer (IO) also tried to prevent Ms Han from calling her lawyer M Ravi, but fortunately the call went through before the IO snatched away her mobile phone.

The police had yesterday (10 Oct) summoned Ms Han to assist in an investigation into an offence of unlawful assembly, related to the recent #ReturnOurCPF event which clashed with the YMCA event graced by Minister Teo Ser Luck.


Permit for #ReturnOurCPF protest was revoked

TR Emeritus (TRE) has confirmed that the investigation of several activists involved in the recent #ReturnOurCPF protest held on 27th Sept for alleged unlawful assembly was because the permit (to protest at Hong Lim Park) was revoked.

One of the main organiser, Han Hui Hui and at least 7 others were interrogated by the police yesterday in relation to the #ReturnOurCPF protest which clashed with a charity carnival organised by YMCA, graced by Minister Teo Ser Luck.

Several other activists in the protest were also questioned on whether they knew the permit was revoked and what their relationship with Ms Han and Roy Ngerng were. They were also asked questions about whether they were aware of the demarcation or perimeters of what constitute Speakers’ Corner, if they were aware that there were special needs children involved in the YMCA event, whether they were familiar with the permit application process for Speakers’ Corner


Participants told TOC that they were unaware if the permit had been revoked

From the videos posted online of the exchange between the NParks officer and the police and Ms Han and Mr Ngerng at the park, it is unclear if the permit to conduct the protest march or to speak at the park, was revoked then. (See the video here, particularly from the 11th minute onwards.)

Under section 142 of the Penal Code, it says: “Whoever, being aware of facts which render any assembly an unlawful assembly, intentionally joins that assembly, or continues in it, is said to be a member of an unlawful assembly.”

The participants said they were also puzzled by why the police, who were also present at the park, did not stop the protest march, or why none of them were arrested after the event, if indeed they had committed an offence of unlawful assembly.

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Police offered canteen meal break to H3, she declined

The police also said it was Ms Han who had "declined an offer to take a break for dinner." However, Ms Han said she was told - at about 5pm - that the interview would only last a further 30 minutes. This was why she decided not to have the dinner break. As it turned out, the interview took another 4 hours or so and only ended at 9.30pm.

Juz wondering: when interview went beyond 6.00pm, did she ask for a meal break? And if "No", why not? And if she asked for a break, but wasn't given one, why doesn't she now KPKB about it?]

On the taking away of her notes, I’ll wait for further details to emerge before commenting. But this I will say: Many yrs ago when I was interviewed by the CAD on whether my actions could amount to a crime, I recollect being offered pen and paper so that I could take notes. When I declined, the officer said,”Sure or not?”. I said I would be signing a police statement and if I disagrred I wouldn’t sign.


Did Han Hui Hui or Dr Leong Sze Hian Started the Lie
HONG LIM PARK HACKLING OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN CONTINUES…

Singapore Police Force denied online reports that officers turned up at Han Hui Hui’s house at midnight the night before, or that she was not allowed to eat during her interview.

On the day when Han Hui Hui was assisting in the investigation, it is interesting to know instead of informing her close partner Roy Ngerng of her status, Han Hui Hui informed Dr Leong Sze Hian. Dr Leong did a live cast in his Facebook page on Han Hui Hui’s status. Many Netizen asked, did Han Hui Hui started the lie or was it Dr Leong who created the spin.

In the meantime, Netizen’s comments in Straits Time’s Facebook on this new spin was fast and furious.

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ARIFFIN SHA: I AM QUITTING ALL POLITICAL ACTIVITIES FOR MY PARENT'S SAKE

As some of you are aware, I was called up to assist in investigations into a possible offence of unlawful assembly on Sept 27th at HLP. This has caused great distress and alarm to my parents. Accordingly I have decided to withdraw from whatever political activities I have been involved in. As advised by my parents to whom I owe a great debt forever unpaid, I will instead focus my energies on my studies and dedicate more time to them and causes they see fit.

After consultations with the other admin, they have indicated a desire to continue to manage the page even though I will no longer be part of it. Consequently I will resign as an Admin of this page effective at noon tomorrow. I also wish to add that Darryl Tan has long ceased to be a member of this page. The remaining admin that will manage the page have for private reasons decided to remain anonymous. I wish my fellow admins all the best and I am sure they will continue the good work of the page in raising the level of political discourse in Singapore.

With my resignation, I will no longer be involved in any way with the management of this page. I may however from time to time express my own personal thoughts on any subject matter including local politics on my own personal FB page or on other pages, as this is a fundamental right available to every citizen.


Why is Han Hui Hui treated like a dangerous criminal?

Hi everyone. Now Han Hui Hui has spent seven hours on Friday in Cantonment police station after having been questioned regarding her 'illegal' assembly when they spontaneously marched around Hong Lim Square on the 27th September without first having received a permit to do so. Han was initially prevented from contacting her lawyer M Ravi but was eventually allowed to call him. Nonetheless, police have said to her that she has no rights for access to legal counsel during her interrogation and her lawyer is unable to visit her during this period of time. Is this justified?

This information has been circulating on social media in the last few hours and the extremely immature response by many Singaporeans have left me very disappointed. Sigh. So much for your great education system, many Singaporeans don't seem to understand how the basic premises of democracy works. Now allow me to issue a disclaimer here: I don't like Han Hui Hui, that's doesn't mean that I dislike her, but I see her as a bit of a loose cannon - an immature, inexperienced young lady who doesn't really have a game plan and her tactics are like a bull in a china shop. She lacks the charisma to be a popular figure and has no clue how to gain popular support for what she is trying to do. She is at best, a deeply controversial figure who alienates even people like me - and my readers know how I am vehemently anti-PAP. But even this stance doesn't by default align me with her because she has yet to win my trust and respect. The same can be said about Roy Ngerng, another loose canon who keeps getting himself into trouble.

Regardless of whether Han Hui Hui is likable or not, she still deserves to be treated fairly by the law - that includes being allowed access to legal counsel when being questioned by police. Even if she is not officially arrested at this point and is only 'assisting with the police' in their investigations, she still deserves to be treated fairly by the authorities. How would you feel if one of your friends or relatives was detained by the police for hours, only to be told that s/he is not allowed to seek legal help? How would you feel if that happened to you? If it can happen to Han Hui Hui, it can easily happen to any one else in Singapore. Is this the kind of society you want to live in, is this the kind of government you want?

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Good Cop, Bad Cop

The mainstream media are taking great pains to paint a softer picture of the Taliban tactics. We are told the goon squad called at the personal residence of one blogger to inform of an interview invite only "after she did not answer... telephone calls". And the interviewee was allowed change the officially appointed time to suit her busy calendar ".. and arrangements were made to accommodate her schedule." Best of all, she was provided with refreshments during the chit-chat.

The snatch theft of her mobile phone and inexplicable confiscation of her notebook were not mentioned.

The unofficial version has it that the bang on the door came at midnight. The blogger arrived at the police station at 2pm on appointed day - the Friday Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize - but was made to wait for half an hour before being grilled until 10pm. Presumably free Wifi was not available during the interminable wait. No food was given, and no permission was granted for a dinner break. They may have opened some window for free smoke, since the haze has been pretty bad these days.

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The Singapore Daily

Heckling YMCA:

– Tweety: #returnourCPF
– The Singapore Beacon: Antiestablishmentarianism
– The Singapore Beacon: Freedom Is Not Free
– Aligheri2014: Of Law and Order
– The Singapore Beacon: In Search Of An Idiot’s Paradise
– Singapore Notes: More Fun Than A Barrel Of Monkeys
– Osman Sulaiman: Our police force a bully?
– Tots of a Cynical Investor: What Hui Hui & WP have in common
– Just Speaking My Mind: Disappointed with Our Police Force
– My Singapore News: The silence of the sheep
– Singapore Notes: Good Cop, Bad Cop
– The Nanyang Chronicle: Dissecting the Hong Lim Park fracas
– Tots of Cynical Investor: No need to change Hong Leong Park rules
– Second November: Downright Embarrassing
– Evergreen Bamboo: The Chee Defense of HLP Commotion
– Singapore 2B: And a child shall lead them
– Salt * Wet * Fish: Growing pains and collateral damage
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Roy’s & New Citizen H3 should go to HK
– Singapore in General: Missing: The authoritative voice of NParks
– Musings, thoughts, life.: Singapore’s dissidents…too self-righteous?
– Barisan Kuning: Learning Points
– PetuniaLee™: Need to Fight for Freedom meh?
– Chemical Generation Singapore: The CPF Protest and Bad Manners
– The Temple Of Thoughts 3: Roy & Freedom vs YMCA & Special Needs Kids
– Five Stars and a Moon: Return of The Gorblok – Part 2
– Iron Bowl: YMCA fiasco
– Dewdrop Notes 露语: Human Shields & Political Pawns
– Cheryl Marie Tay: Come, We Clap For Them
– Basis Of Singaporean Spirit: Hong Lim Park Crash – Who is Right?
– My Singapore News: Teo Ser Luck apologised on Facebook
– Singapore Notes: Our Very Own Zapruder Clip
– Mindspur: Fiasco @ Hong Lim Park
– The Lycan Times: The Fracas at Hong Lim Park
– Five Stars and a Moon: Return of The Gorblok – Part 1
– Blogging for Myself: Ropes or Petard for Roy Ngerng
– Onthesannyside: What if it had turned out uglier?
– Singapore Notes: Suffer The Little Children